Back up Google Apps Mail using getmail4 + IMAP

Just a quick note on how to configure backups of Google Apps email to a local machine.

Install getmail

apt-get install getmail4

create config directory

Create a subdirectory in users home folder (and change permissions)

mkdir .getmail
touch .getmail

create config file

Create a file such as .getmail/username.gmail

[retriever]
type = SimpleIMAPSSLRetriever
server = imap.gmail.com
username = username@domain.tld
password = password
mailboxes = ("[Gmail]/All Mail",)

[destination]
type = Maildir
path = /path/to/storage/directory/

[options]
# print messages about each action (verbose = 2)
# Other options:
# 0 prints only warnings and errors
# 1 prints messages about retrieving and deleting messages only
verbose = 1
message_log = ~/.getmail/gmail.log

create data directories for storage

Create 3 sub-directories in your designated data directory

mkdir cur new tmp

run getmail

getmail -r username.gmail

Whilst this is more a ‘note to self’ rather than actual documentation – maybe it’s of use to somebody.

Thanks go to Matt Cutts: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/backup-gmail-in-linux-with-getmail/ for the start.

m-learn: Mobile evidence gathering using GoogleDocs

This one nearly escaped my attention yesterday. Google has just announced the ability to edit Google Docs on your mobile device via their Google Mobile Blog.

Just point your mobile browser to m.google.com/docs and start editing.

Along with the use of 2D barcodes this will open a few interesting m-learning possiblities for educators that would previously have required custom coding to achieve. I can see this being very useful in situations where you have students being in the field and allowing them to enter data gathered using a standard mobile phone. The barcodes could point students to the location of the spreadsheet (avoiding the need to type the information)

The screenshot below shows a spreadsheet that I just made up for demonstration purposes.

Google Spreadsheet
Google Spreadsheet
Google Spreadsheet - add record
Google Spreadsheet - add record

The data gathered can easily be used embedded into LMS course pages for review in the classroom. The (quite capable) graphing tools in Google Spreadsheets can be used to visualise the results gathered. For some of our clients that use Moodle and GoogleApps for Education this is a very interesting combination as would allow for the authenticated entering of mobile data into the LMS.

It would be interesting to look at how you could easily geo-tag the information gathered for mapping purposes. But that’s probably a topic for another post.